Woven from Biosteel fibres, a material designed to mimic spider silk by a German biotech company called AMSilk, Adidas is set to release a fully biodegradable running trainer later this year with performance characteristics equivalent to their regular shoes.
We covered the news in an edition of Circulate on Fridays at the beginning of the year, but a new video produced by Fast Company featuring a one-on-one interview with Jens Klein, CEO at AMSilk.
Besides being 100% naturally biodegradable, Biosteel fibre is lighter than other synthetic materials and is reportedly quite strong. The shoes represent a deliberate step towards a human-created material that can return to the biosphere at the end of use, and a move beyond simply increasing the amount of recycled materials used.
Only unveiled as prototypes so far, the material was inspired by spider silk, and designed with using biomimicry as a methodology. The Biosteel is created by fermenting natural carbon sources and converting them into a white powder, and AMSilk has already deployed the material in utilisations for beauty and medical products, including surgical meshes and implants.
No information has been released on price points and availability as of yet, but if the fibre is able to demonstrably match the performance of shoes made of traditional materials, it would pave the way for production innovations moving forward.
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